Since Sasuke's Journal is done (although I think some of you want a come back from Naruto), I decided to post this chapter that I've been setting aside for a while now.
This is a new SasuNaru fiction. It starts off a little similar to "A contract with a bastard", but it doesn't stay that was for long. Its light-hearted but with a pinch of angst and heart break.
I hope you enjoy it.
Chapter 1, "Holy matrimony!"
The can rolled across the sidewalk as Naruto kicked it once again. With both hands in his pocket, he moaned loudly from frustration. The action was enough to attract his friends' attention.
"You're not having seconds thoughts, are you, buddy?" Kiba asked, racing Naruto to kick the can and winning.
"What if the guy is a perve or some weirdo? He'll have to stay at my place for God knows how long," Naruto puffed his cheeks.
"You asked me how you could make fast money. This is the only legal way I could find," The friend answered, quickly interrupted by Nara's groan.
"Just to be clear, it is not legal," Shikamaru added.
"One hundred percent illegal," Shikamaru corrected again, whispering "troublesome" soon after.
"Well, it's better than dealing drugs or something."
"If you consider fraud and lying on legal documents better, then yes."
"Whatever. He didn't sign the marriage contract yet so Naruto can still go back if he doesn't like the guy once he meets him," Kiba added.
"Did Chouji tell you anything about him? Is he even gay?" Naruto asked, mind still occupied by the decision he was reflecting over.
"Just that he is some big-shot pastry chef from Sunagakure."
"Can't he apply for a work visa or something? Why would he resort to marrying some guy he doesn't know?"
"I think he wants to open his own shop. I don't know. I guess we'll know everything once we meet him tonight," Kiba said, as he and Naruto kicked the can to each other.
Suddenly Shikamaru stepped on the can midway. "Naruto, make sure you don't sign anything without reading it first."
"I get it. I get it," the blond pursed his lips. "Maybe he'll turn out handsome, and we will fall in love," Uzumaki snickered.
"He's probably very feminine, with his line of work and everything," Kiba mumbled. "Did you see the cakes Chouji brings back everyday? They are all pink, cute, and shit like that. A 'dude' can't come up with these things."
"I don't know. I prefer my men buff. All muscles glistening in sweat after working out and benching weights," Naruto ended the sentence with a long moan. "Someone who is fun and always on the go. Down to earth," he tried to imagine the man he was on his way to visit. "But I guess I don't mind if he is feminine, as long as he keeps those cakes coming."
"Here we are," Kiba smiled when they finally arrived at the back door of the pastry shop where Chouji worked. He pulled out his phone and began dialing his friend's number. "He should be out once he sees I'm calling."
The door opened, Chouji walking out with a toque on his head and in white double-breasted jacket, and a whisk in hand. "Hey guys. You're somewhat early. Can you wait twenty minutes till we're done with the batch? We received an order for a bachelorette party last minute."
"Fine," Naruto answered, poking Shika in the stomach mischievously, knowing how ticklish his friend was. "Are we going to meet here later?"
"There is a café across the street. I'll bring him over," Chouji walked back in, but Naruto grabbed him quickly.
"Say," the blond leaned towards Chouji's ear curiously. "What kind of person is he?"
Chouji gulped; he had been working with Sasuke for a while after all. "How can I say this; He is definitely driven." He sugarcoated the truth.
"Does he have a sense of humor?" Naruto's eyes widened like pearls.
The friend laughed nervously. 'Cruel mockery is a type of humor, isn't it?' Chouji hoped. "Well, he knows how to make a joke."
"He is handsome?"
"Yes!" Chouji almost shouted it out. He was glad he could finally say something without having to sugarcoat his words. "The girls swoon over him. We get tons of school girls everyday who come by just to see him."
Naruto smiled, "Can I peek in?"
Naruto pressed forward, trying to peek through the door. But Chouji forced him away, since he knew if Naruto saw how Sasuke treated his subordinates, he was surely going to run away. It wasn't that Chouji wanted to hide the truth from his friend, and intentionally get him stuck with someone he might be incompatible with. The fact was, he had known Sasuke for almost a year now, and as disagreeable as he was at times, he knew he was an acquired taste. Naruto needed a chance to get to know the Sasuke underneath before writing him off.
Naruto slumped his shoulders, as he walked away, dragging Shikamaru from his sleeve. "These are going to be the longest twenty minutes of my life."
"I can't believe you are getting married," Kiba mumbled.
"It's a sham marriage. I just want to pay pervy grandpa's debt. I don't want some loan shark breaking his legs."
"It is still a marriage."
"I always thought Shikamaru would get married first," Naruto turned around to look at his friend. "You always talked about how much you wanted to marry a guy who is not too hot or too ugly. Have two kids, and then-"
"We should set you up with someone," Kiba interrupted. "How long has it been since you got laid?"
"Stop talking about these things," Shikamaru's face turned red, as he choked and turned away. "What a drag."
"I thought we could set you up with Shino," Kiba spoke about his flat-mate. "You already hang out with him when you are at my place. But you said you hate bugs, and he's really into them. He has twenty pet spiders. I'm afraid to go into his room."
Naruto suddenly froze in his step, "How about the redhead who lives in my building?"
"He's scary," Kiba shook his head in disapproval. "But I guess he might be wild in bed."
"Stop it," Nara coughed, face even a deeper shade of red. "I don't need you to set me up. Just look after yourselves first."
"Suit yourself," Kiba pushed the door to the café, before walking in and choosing a table right in the center.
"We should sit in a corner, so the conversation can be kept private," Shikmaru added. Kiba hissed. He liked to be in charge, but he figured he could take a back seat for once.
In exactly thirty minutes, Chouji walked in, followed by a stunning slim guy with skin the color of cream and eyes the color of night. The man smelled of vanilla and cake, enough for Naruto to feel hungry the minute the man stepped in.
"Is that him?" Kiba whispered. "He's good looking."
Naruto smiled. Sasuke was obviously 'beautiful'. He preferred handsome men, with scars and rough hands, but he couldn't deny that even though he looked somewhat more delicate than he liked, Sasuke was a beauty. Then, Sasuke spoke…
"Tell me it's not the delinquent with the tattoo on his face," Sasuke hissed at Chouji, loud enough for everyone to hear.
"And he's a dick," Shikamaru whispered.
"It's the blond," Chouji laughed timidly.
The three men stared at Sasuke as he sat down in front of them. "I'm Sasuke Uchiha. Chouji should have already told you my situation. To make sure we don't waste each other's time, I'll let you know my conditions in advance; I'll pay 90000 ryos for each year we are married. You'll have to sign an agreement that asserts that you have to stay married to me for at least three years, or until I get my citizenship. My lawyer also prepared a prenub to insure that when we finally divorce, everything will go smoothly. Now, concerning our residence, I don't know where you live, but since you are having financial problems, I'm assuming your place is not that great. So, I think it would be better if we move into my apartment-"
Naruto suddenly got up, and pointed to the others face.
Sasuke stared at the finger pointing at him, "I'm assuming you have something to say."
"You can't burst in here, and start making demands before even giving a chance for other's to introduce themselves. Don't be an asshole, you bastard! Didn't anyone teach you how to have basic conversation?!"
Sasuke furrowed his brows, "I'll let you know; my offer is very generous, and many people would jump at such an opportunity. I don't know what game you are playing to try and bargain, but it's not going to work."
"Fuck you," Naruto grit his teeth, and began to walk away. "Guys, we are leaving."
"Just! Naruto wait!" Chouji got up and began to chase after Naruto, who had already walked out of the coffee shop.
"Chouji, don't even try! He's a bastard! I can't live with someone like that for three years!" Naruto waved his hands in the air, his gestures almost wilder than his anger.
"He is not a bad guy."
"Are you kidding me? Did you meet him?!"
"He is just aloof, but once you get used to each other-"
"He treats you like a lacky! He called Kiba a delinquent!"
"He's my boss, Naruto," Chouji sighed, panting from the chase.
"I'm sorry I got you involved in this. I don't want to get you in trouble with your boss, but he's a horrible person."
"You don't know him well enough."
"The Naruto I know knows that the first impressions people assume about someone are usually wrong. How many people misunderstood you and misjudged you before?"
Naruto puffed, "You're right. I'll go back, but he's on probation."
The blond stomped back to the table, sat down arms crossed and face scowling. "I have conditions too."
"Which are?" Sasuke raised both eyebrows.
"It's 95000 a year. First year in advance. You will pay for all the house expenses since you were the one who wants to stay at his place. And my friends can come over whenever I want," Naruto stared Sasuke in the eye. He didn't want to be a crude about his demands, but since the other man started it first, he decided two could play that game.
"Fine, as long as you don't wake me up during the night or trash the place. But I'm not running a hang out for your friends and you," Sasuke stated. "You understand that we will have to learn a lot about each other, and in front of everyone except the five of us on this table, we are genuinely married. So it's more than just memorizing answers about my favorite color." Sasuke frowned. Naruto was too loud. Too loud for his taste. It also seemed that the boy had a knack for trouble, but he was the only one he could find who came with a testimonial from a person he somewhat trusted, Chouji.
"I understand. Do you think I am an idiot or something?!"
Sasuke glared at the other man, "You should know I don't like loud voices."
"You should know I don't like your face!" Naruto raised his voice up ten notches in defiance.
"Sasuke, why are you doing this? We were discussing it earlier; wouldn't it be easier for you to get a work visa," Shikamaru interrupted, half trying to watch for Naruto's interest, half trying to get Naruto's screaming to stop. "Plus, from my understanding, you have already lived here for a year. In four years, you could apply for citizenship."
"Yes, but I would have to stay employed until then, and I would like to start my own business early on," Sasuke explained, glad that someone was finally talking reasonably. "My work is a very important part of my life and-"
Sasuke turned around and flashed Naruto, who was sniffing his shoulder, a death glare. "What are you doing?"
"You smell like vanilla," Naruto's words faded. "And something else. Is it nut meg?"
Sasuke blinked a few times, before looking back to Shikamaru and ignoring Naruto, "And I already have a plan for my shop. I already made an offer on a place downtown."
"Do you want to fuck Naruto?" Kiba asked loudly, before being jabbed in the side by Shikamaru.
"What Kiba means to say; are you expecting to consummate the marriage with Naruto? Since this might affect how-"
"No!" Naruto quickly added. "I'm never sleeping with him!"
Sasuke glared at him once more, before inhaling deeply, "I don't expect anything like that from him. However, the under the contract, he cannot have a relationship or sleep with anyone else for the duration of our marriage. As I mentioned, as far as everyone else is concerned, we are in a real marriage, so we have to watch our image."
Kiba fell back against the back of his chair, "So basically Naruto is going to have blue balls for the next three years. That sucks."
"What if I meet someone else?" Naruto asked, a little concerned.
"You've to honor your commitment. I will too."
The blond hissed, staring down at the band around his wrist, with the inscription "Be proud of who you are". Jiraiya had bought it for him years back, when he first came out. It wasn't enough that he took care of him after his parents' death, but he was also more understanding and supportive than most of his friends' parents. He had heard horror stories about coming out, but Jiraiya let him know that he was fine as long as Naruto was happy. It was time for him to pay his grand pa back, Naruto figured. "I guess love can wait three years," he whispered.
"Are you sure, Naruto?" Shikamaru asked, concern in his voice, and then whispered, "We can try to get the money some other way."
"We already tried," Naruto spoke with a composed voice, some pain seeping out every once in a while. "Plus, the debt is getting larger everyday with the huge interest. We won't be able to pay it if we wait."
The blond then nodded, "So, when are we going to do this."
"Monday at my lawyers office, we will sign all the documents. We can then go to the registrar's office and finalize the marriage."
The blond nodded, and watched as Sasuke pulled his wallet out. "Take this and buy a tuxedo. I'll bring a camera, and make a reservation somewhere. Invite a few close friends. We need to make it seem legit for our interview afterwards."
Naruto reached for the money, "When am I going to move in?"
"As soon as possible. You should move your things into my place by Sunday. Luckily, I'm very private, so I don't think my neighbors will be suspicious if I suddenly get married." he explained. "As for the interview, I did some research. It takes at least a month or two before everything is set, so we have some time to practice our answers. We also have to come up with a story to tell your neighbors and friends; incase they interview them as well."
"That might be hard to do," Shikamaru stated. "Naruto is very open, but I guess we can try to make it seem like a spontaneous decision. That would be more believable."
XXXX On Sunday XXXX
The raven stood at Naruto's door step with a composed face, trying his best to avoid having a mini heart attack. Was Naruto going to turn his place into a dump like this one? It was possible, right? He though, body shuddering at the though.
"Hey, Sasuke. Naruto is packing the living room," Kiba passed by him carrying a box labeled 'Manga'.
The raven dipped his head, before walking inside as if walking to his death. Once he reached the living room, he noticed Naruto climbing the couch, trying to get down some posters on the wall behind it.
"Hey, you're finally here," Naruto smiled. "Take off your shoes, come up and help me."
The raven complied sourly. The ground was completely covered in junk, but he managed to hop from one empty spot to the other till he made it to the couch. "You don't plan on putting these posters up at my place?"
Naruto turned around and stared at the man, "Why not?"
Sasuke bit his lip, trying to convince himself to let it go, and let the boats sails in calm waters for now. "They don't go well with my décor," he tried to be polite about it.
"I think they are fun."
Sasuke took another look at the cartoon character on the poster, "Well, sure, if you are five. But you are not five."
"I'll let you know; people of all ages watch Gintama!"
"It's a cartoon."
"It's not a cartoon. It's an anime!"
The Uchiha sighed. He had heard this statement before, and he knew the conversation wasn't going to lead anywhere. "Fine, but only hang them in the closet."
"Fine," Naruto hissed, before tossing the first poster to Sasuke.
In a matter of a few minutes, Sasuke was carrying fifteen posters. It almost seemed impossible that the wall had fitted all of these earlier. He stepped of the couch, and instantly yelped. He closed his eyes, trying to get over the pain in his foot, and the irritation in his mind.
"Why do you have toys all over the floor?"
"They are called figurines."
"Then don't toss them all over the floor," he raised his leg up, and checked to see if the 'figurine' had broken skin. "And you still play with legos too?" He pulled a lego piece off the ground and then tossed it away.
"I make art with them. Get off my back!"
Living with that guy was going to be impossible, Sasuke whined. It was all for his ambition. He should endure, he repeated silently. But honestly, how could he live with a man like Naruto? Fire wouldn't be able to live in the same container as water. No, a better metaphor would be Flame and gasoline.
"This is the last room before I'm done packing," Naruto explained, holding up yet another poster.
These were going to be the longest three years of his life, Sasuke hissed.
Should I continue?
Should Naruto say "I do"?